Category Archives: Perseverance

Grieving Over Hell-bent Souls

The Sorrow of a Christ-less Eternity:

Leonard Ravenhill: “While millions were watching with thumping hearts, American scientists hurled a man into space in May of this year [1961]. The same day thousands of souls were launched into a Christless eternity and are in orbit forever in the regions of the damned. Few hearts thumped over their eternal misery; no banner headlines of the press screamed of the eternal woe of those who can never again pass this way.” (Ravenhill, Revival Praying, 15)

It is grievous how often my mind is consumed with the vanity of this temporal world while thousands enter into a Christless eternity each and every day. The horrors of hell and the fact that I deserve such torment, alone, should be enough to drive me to my knees in earnest prayer that God should save sinners. It should compel me to speak His truth with courage, conviction, and love. My momentary inconvenience or mild discomfort does not even compare to someone spending eternity without Christ. The lost have no greater need than to hear the gospel and see a life that displays its redemptive love and transforming power. Eternity is the only true reality, and seeing a Christless person ought to provoke me to compassion, prayer, and witness rather than complacency. Only God can give me a greater burden for the lost, and so I ask Him to graciously do so. He desires for all of His children to have compassion on those who are still children of wrath. Apart from Christ, that is what we would continue to be.  And without Him we would experience a Christless eternity.

The Need for Earnest Prayer:

Samuel Chadwick: “Brethren, the crying sin of the Church is her laziness after God.” Ravenhill further writes, “Praying people, however, are not lazy. Prayer demands will power. Prayer recognizes unfinished business with and for God. Prayer is a battle for full-grown men, fully armed and fully awake to the possibilities of grace. I write here by constraint, for my spirit is sore, my heart sick at the slothfulness with which we tarry in prayer. My head hangs low that Communists will give more for their dying cause than we will give for the living Christ… I write not for those who want a “bottle” (“I have fed you with milk”) but for those who want to battle. My heart is at rest–but I am restless for revival. I have peace–but yet am at war against principalities and powers and against everything in the Church that clutters up the blocked channel through which revival could come…” (Ravenhill, 1961).

The Holy Spirit alone can bring revival. He always begins such a work by reviving our hearts, and His means of doing so is by the living word of God. May He compel us to become a praying people who persevere in earnest prayer, both for our own souls and for the lost. May the burden of the Lord become our burning passion as we turn from sin and turn to God.

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Waiting in the Wilderness

Walking in the Wilderness: A Purposeful Lesson in Waiting

“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.  And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord…”  Deuteronomy 8:2-3

The years of wandering and waiting are a gracious gift from God.  God knows what we need and He also knows how desperately we need it.  We rarely know our need, and even more rarely do we recognize our utter dependence on God to provide for it.  We have many needs, but our greatest need is a saving knowledge of God that results in no longer leaning on ourselves but in wholly leaning on Him.  God is willing to take whatever time is necessary to mature us.

In the lives of His people, God uses the wilderness to humble them.  Through hardship, He patiently confronts their self-sufficiency and pride.  Out of love, He also reveals to them the depth of sinfulness that resides in their hearts.  Instead of leaving them deluded by their sin, He exposes the darkness that was previously hidden to them.  Through testing, His people would not only be purified from sin but they would also be strengthened in faith.

As a result of His provision for their physical hunger, He teaches the Israelites that He alone has the ability to satisfy their spiritual hunger.  As the One who provided manna (“bread from heaven”), He would later provide the Bread of Life—His very own Son.  Those who, by faith, received God’s provision of manna were preserved to live another day.  In faith, many of them would experience the saving work that God intended to unveil at the fullness of time.  Every moment of the journey through the wilderness was purposeful.  In order for Him to be their God, and for them to be His people, they needed to learn how to turn from sin and place their trust completely on Him.

May we persevere in the wilderness(es) through which God takes us.  As we endure, may we trust God to humble our pride, test our hearts, and show us His faithfulnessThe waiting is not easy, but it’s worth it. God teaches us how much we are dependent upon Him, because He intends to provide for our every need.  As you wait, may you humbly seek the Lord in prayer, His word, and the company of His children who know Him best.  They will help keep your heart hopeful and lifted during times of trial.

“The Lord passed before Moses and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.'” Exodus 34:6-8

In Christ, we see both God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, as well as His wrath and justice regarding sin.  May we find our comfort in the person of Christ as we journey through the wilderness and wait for God to guide us.

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